“When you put your foot on the gas pedal and push it all the way to the floor and the RPM’s are all the way to the red line, what happens to the engine after a period of time?” ~My former psychology teacher
We are living in stressful times aren’t we? Mass murders, terrorist attacks and so on. Top that off with troubles in Syria, North Korea, Iran, Russia and our own political garbage. Watching or reading the news today is very frustrating and depressing. One can look at these times with despair and spew hateful word vomit or one can look at these times with hope.
In recent months and years, we’ve become very polarized on virtually every topic and we also seem to politicize every topic. Why? Do we like how we feel when we fight with someone else? Do we like fighting with everyone about everything all the time? I don’t know about you but I sure don’t enjoy fighting with anyone over anything at any time.
These days we have information coming at us from all directions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from tv, print, and of course social media. There are also all kinds of pundits, political leaders and other commentators who throw around hateful comments and unrealistic ideas about how these situations should or shouldn’t be handled. At some point, fingers start pointing then anyone and everyone is blamed for everything that happens.
When we hear/read about the stuff on the news or on social media sites we often leave nasty comments. This continues the cycle of blame and anger which fuels the hate in the hearts of men and women everywhere. I do not care to cite examples because that, too, will fuel the hatred cycle.
I remember a time when our leaders, actors, musicians and athletes were our role models. Some were even our heroes. Today, in our current political climate, this isn’t so much true.
We cannot allow this to keep happening.
There is something we keep forgetting when horrific and awful events happen. The outpouring of human compassion. Strangers helping other strangers in a time of need. Lines of racial division, political affiliation or views, creed, sexual/gender preference and socio-economic tossed aside like yesterday’s garbage. Strangers donate food, water, money, time and even blood to other total strangers. The fact all of this support and compassion goes unreported is disgraceful.
There is another reason that we cannot allow this rhetoric to keep happening.
There’s one thing you may not know about anger and fighting. Those things are poison to our bodies. I take that back, they’re more like a cancer, sometimes a very aggressive cancer. Think of the question I asked above. What would happen to the engine if you floored it for a length of time? It would most likely die a lot sooner than if the engine normal. Adrenaline in our bodies is somewhat like gasoline or oil in a car and stressors like anger and hate are like our foot on the gas pedal.
When we are stuck in that cycle of anger and hate, our bodies begin to break down. These emotions eat away at us bite by bite. We may begin to eat poorly. Instead of eating relatively healthy, we end comfort food. We start out with upset stomachs and headaches. At some point we may develop high blood pressure or elevated blood sugar. Maybe our immune system weakens and we get the flu more often than we used to. Eventually we will end up having a heart attack, a stroke or we may actually get cancer.
I’ve occasionally gone on a politically themed social media post and read the comments that others have left and became enraged at the insensitive, hateful, misinformed and dumb comments left by uninformed people. Just as I start to write an inflammatory comment, I realize I am just continuing the cycle. The same is true when I read or watch the news. To not contribute to the cycle, I’ve had to leave the more political social media posts or pages altogether or change the tv station.
So, how can we move passed all this “stuff”? There are a couple of lessons I’ve learned in life that can help us move away from the cycle of anger, blame and hate – but it’ll take some work.
One is to practice Spiritual Principles like hope, surrender, acceptance, honesty, open-mindedness, willingness, faith, tolerance, patience, humility, unconditional love, compassion, sharing and caring. If we do this we put principles before personalities which teaches us to treat everyone equally.
This leads us to follow The Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” If you want to be accepted or tolerated, then you need to accept and tolerate others. If you want respect and honesty, then be respectful and honest with others. Many of us learned to do this when we were young but somewhere along the way we forgot these lessons or we chose not to follow them.
Perhaps some day we’ll wake up and see how our actions and our words affect others and we can at least live a bit more peaceful. Then again, that is probably just a pipe dream.
Thought for the day: If we want to have a more peaceful coexistence with each other, we have to practice Spiritual Principles and the Golden Rule again.
***Please be sure to read more of my posts